A Perfect Day In Kailua Kona- Food, Drink, Music and Adventure


How many times a day do you dream about a warm, tropical vacation while the local weatherman explains how many more inches of snow you’ll get in your home town? So, you book your airfare and you make it to Kona!  But once you have finally arrived in paradise the next question is “What should I do?”

There is so much to experience in Kailua Kona it can get overwhelming, so here is the perfect day in Kona. It includes where you can find the best breakfast with a stunning view, which tour company you can take to watch dolphins and swim over the brightly colored coral and when your day is done where you can admire the sunset with a drink in your hand while listening to live music.

Island Lava Java

 Island Lava Java is located right on Ali’i drive facing the ocean, they are open daily from 6:30 am to 9pm. If you are jet lagged and wake up at 4 am, order some coffee when they open and watch the sunrise from their top floor, you even might see dolphins playing in the bay. For breakfast I would suggest their Island eggs benedict or the island bagel and lox.. They also have a breakfast cocktail list which includes a classic mimosa with freshly squeezed orange juice and sparkling wine or if you’re feeling adventurous they offer a hibiscus lemonade spiked with Aviation gin. Check out their website Island Lava Java

Kona Snorkel Trips 

 Exploring Kona’s coast is an essential “must do” for your vacation, so book a tour with Kona Snorkel Tours for a private charter with your family or friends or join in on a public tour on their 16 person hard bottomed inflatable raft, the Orca.  While on the water, learn about Hawaiian history from your tour guide and soak in the morning sun while enjoying the turquoise water along the coast. Look for wild dolphins, manta rays, turtles, and whales as you make your way to one of the snorkeling destinations they offer, either north or south of Honokohau Harbor. One of the things that the Big Island has to offer is unique lava tubes and sea caves that you can spot from the boat. If you choose to snorkel in Kealakekua Bay, you will get to see these unique island features on your way back to the harbor.  Here is a video I did on my tour with them in May 2019.   Kona Snorkel Trips offer tours that are affordable so that you can boat during the day and dance at night. Book a tour with them!  

Gertrudes Jazz Bar

After a long exciting day relax at Gertrudes Jazz Bar located right on Ali’i Drive on the second floor. It’s hard to miss because the steps up to the bar are hand painted to look like piano keys. The view looks over Kailua Bay and the local pier. I would suggest grabbing a seat right by the rail, so you can observe the busy street below and the waves crashing against the sea wall. For exceptional entertainment, they offer a variety of live music every day but Monday. Saturday night is live jazz or blues and Sunday nights is eclectic live music. Check the entertainment calendar on their website for more Entertainment Calendar. For your drinking pleaseure, they offer signature cocktails with fun names like “Tango Tini” or “Mambo Rita.” They also offer tapas like the “Mediterranean Platter” and Kailua pork silders. After you are satiated with all the tasty goodness, hit the dance floor and dance the night away to end a perfect day in Kona. 

Here is a short video to show you the vibe with owner Marlina interviewing one of the musicians and listen to him play with the ocean behind him.

Check out their webite Gertrudes Jazz Bar. 

If you are in town the week of June 3-Gertrude’s is hosting their month wine tasting event for only $20 for five tastings of Sonoma/Russian River Valley wines along with paired appetizers. Tickets available here. 



Co-Written by Caylin Ziemelis

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Meet the Author

Julie Ziemelis

Julie Ziemelis is an entrepreneur, business owner, author, blogger and vlogger in Kailua Kona. She created and moderates the “365 Things to Do in Kona” page and the Kona Newbies group on Facebook. She blogs at 365Kona.com and MoveToHawaii365.com and vlogs with her husband, Eric, at “365Hawaii” on YouTube. Julie also authored the books, “How to Move to Kona” and the “Insiders Guide to Buying Real Estate on the Big Island of Hawaii”. You will most likely find Julie in Kona hiking, running, biking, taking photos and sharing Aloha.

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